Let me share a Secret today!

“Imagine what you can do when you don’t have to look at yourself in the mirror anymore”

Secret YourStory

My schooling ruined me. Completely. Specifically the moral science classes that were a part of the everyday curriculum. We were taught from early on in life the virtues of seeing the good in others, speaking correctly, not hating and slandering and to always give the benefit of doubt. The list went on endlessly.

In retrospect, I realize how such an education left me unequipped to deal with the times in which we live, more so in the dynamic start up world where we operate. I am so thankful that the current generation will not have to deal with such fallacies. Now we have the Secret App. They will just get on Secret and start learning the new rules of the game.

The children of today can learn how to anonymously slander, utter the choicest abuses and, better still, get away with it. And while we are at it, let’s just stop naming children in the coming times and call them Anonymous. After all what is the need for identity when so much fun can be had without having one?

Secret is poised to be the harbinger of change.Truly. It will do the world so much good. Why kill when you can kill the reputation, why confront when you can backstab and why demand equality when a woman can be shred to bits- all secretly.

Look at the business potential of this innovation (little wonder that it raised 25 million dollars instantly!). We will soon have a Secret Dictionary (for the most damaging words), Secret Awards (the best abuser/slanderer of the year) Secret Voice (why leave it to text, let’s bring passion in our abuses with voiceovers), big data, predictive analytics (look at the creative intelligence and words being generated at real time).

I am thrilled that this app has opened up a new paradigm of existence. The way it teaches us to embrace humanity, especially as a start-up species, is unprecedented. The glee and titillation it invokes in unparalleled. We can laugh and entertain ourselves at someone else’s expense. We can enjoy feasting on their dirty secrets from the comfortable cloak of our anonymity or can just create one for whomever we fancy striking down at that moment.

My only request to the founders of Secret app is to rename the ‘Friend or Friend of Friend’ side icon that comes in the app. Let’s call it Fuckers of Fuckers or Simply Fucker. Let’s keep friends out of this, friends don’t screw.

A ‘Secret’ Survey of Startup-related threads
Number of Startup-related threads analyzed 70
Total number of comments 2343
Number of comments with negative connotation 1557
High usage of expletives
Number of comments that used the word B**ch (or variations) 176
Number of comments that used the word F**k (or variations) 322
Number of comments that used the word Ch***ya (or variations) 547
* There is a thread running on “Who are the biggest ch***yas in the startup ecosystem?”
Sexist posts
Number of mentions of women founders in startup threads 128
Number of negative connotations (b**ch/’I-want-to-do-her’ etc) used with the mentions of women founders 65
* There is a thread running on “Who is the hottest girl in the Indian startup ecosystem?”
#Thanks Abhash for helping with this survey

Hollow Man Syndrome

On another note, Secret app made me revisit the movie Hollow Man (inspired by the novel The Invisible Man by H.G Wells). In the movie, Sebastian Caine, a scientist discovers a formula for invisibility and after testing the formula on himself, begins to lose his moral responsibility, as he unearths his newfound freedom. How invisibility transforms him is similar to how anonymity transforms in Secret, so you get the gist. As the protagonist in the movie begins to realize the endless opportunities of not being held accountable for his actions, his real self emerges. Voyeurism, rape and eventually murder, are committed by Caine with very little remorse.

Plato’s work The Republic tells a similar tale of a shepherd, Gyges, who stumbles upon a magic ring. The ring gives its wearer the ability to become invisible, and Gyges uses this to commit murder and gain power.

To me the usage of Secret raises a lot of question. Most of my colleagues told me, ignore it, these things don’t matter at all, we don’t even need to give it any mind space and secrets will disappear. I don’t know, but being a history student, i cannot ignore these questions; after all, this may impact the way we do things in the future.

Would our moral responsibility disappear if we did not have the fear of being caught or punished?

Is being moral/ kind/ good/ conscientious just a social construct to maintain a facade?

Are we inherently voyeuristic and rejoice in damaging each other?

Is it country specific, region specific, sector specific?

Are champions of innovation, technology adept and well-educated young people happy to backstab anonymously? If yes, why?

And is this the principle driving us today , “It’s not important if a story’s real, the only thing that really matters is whether people click on it” ?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind, but the answer has to come from us. Whether we chose to remain silent, ignore it or confront it, we need to think and for a change think beyond us.

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Signing off,

Anonymous

Disclaimer : I believe in the innovation of Secret App but disappointed to see its usage. This is my personal opinion and does not reflect the opinion of YourStory.

Shradha Sharma

Shradha Sharma